UK group wants FM turned off in favor of DAB by 2012

Nilay Patel
N. Patel|06.25.08

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UK group wants FM turned off in favor of DAB by 2012
We've seen some pretty hot DAB radios make the scene, but consumers just haven't greeted the tech with any kind of enthusiasm -- which is why the UK's Digital Radio Working Group recently suggested that FM services be shut off starting in 2012, with complete shut-off to occur by 2020. According to the group's report, only 17.8 percent of radio listening is digital, and the chances of finding a DAB radio in a car (where 20 percent of all UK radio listening is done) is less than 1 in 200. The DRWG says that the switchover to DAB will take three steps: first, a commitment to the tech by the government and industry, with radios being made multiplatform and able to receive all the flavors of DAB; second, a massive promotional campaign; and third, switchoff of FM, which is optimistically scheduled to begin in 2012. That's certainly one way to get people to buy new radios -- but unlike the switch to digital TV, we don't see anyone being too put out by having to listen to their MP3 players in the car instead of FM radio.
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